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8 fun whitewater courses around the world

By: Josh Lew on Oct. 11, 2013, 11 a.m.
Penrith Whitewater Stadium, Australia

Photo: Louise Docker/Flickr

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Penrith Whitewater Stadium, Australia

Like many of the other whitewater courses on our list, the Penrith Whitewater Stadium was originally built for the Olympics. Used during the 2000 Sydney Games, this man-made course is the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Slalom competitions are still held here, but the course is also open to the public and has a strong focus on training and education.

Novices can shoot down the rapids as part of a raft crew or learn the basics in a flat-water lake in the hope that they will soon be ready to take on the rapids on their own. A conveyor belt takes paddlers from the bottom of the course back to the top, so they do not even have to get out of their boat before tackling the whitewater a second time. There are specialized courses for junior paddlers and also a swift-water rescue course for people who want to learn proper safety procedures for their whitewater endeavors.